Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted November 15, 2015
When Bertie came home he was quite scared and nervous to begin with, and he did bite a couple of people, but not enough to do any damage. He is gradually calming down as he gets older, but is does still have occasional barking attacks.
He loves to go for walkies, but taking him for a walk can be difficult if he is unfamiliar with you. He is quite big and strong, and can decide he just doesn't want to move any more, which can be frustrating when you are stuck at the side of the road! He is very obedient with a recognised handler though, and will happily trot along. This means that it can be difficult for dog walkers or friends to help when you go away, so it is best to spend time with any new handlers in advance of leaving them for independent walks.
Bertie is happy to sit in his crate on long journeys, and to wait in the car during visits. He is very patient in a busy, noisy household with lots of comings and goings, and new people always visiting. He doesn't like going into kennels and can be uneasy in unfamiliar surroundings, although this seems to be improving with age, along with his other behavioural issues.
He is very good at letting you know when he wants to go out - he even has a particular toilet bark, but has had the odd accident if this goes ignored for long!
Being a hound, Bertie's senses are very keen, and he is aware of everything. He is very good at scent games, and finding Easter eggs. He is not scared of fireworks, but does get excited and likes to bark at them. When we go out, we tend to leave the curtains drawn so that he doesn't bark at passers-by or the neighbourhood cats.
Bertie's short, close coat barely sheds and is ideal for allergy sufferers; he currently lives with three asthmatics with no effect on their conditions. Any grooming is really about cleanliness. His long ears, big paws and low body accumulate dirt and odours quickly, so he needs his ears cleaned frequently, and regular baths with special attention to his skin folds to stop him getting very, very smelly.
Bertie is a fun pet for someone who likes to commit time to him and devise task-based play and scent games. He has turned from a scared, aggressive rescue dog into a wonderful family pet, and this has been incredibly rewarding.